Motor Scooter Accidents
With the growth in popularity of motor scooters in the State of Florida and beyond, there is also an increase in the number of accidents, personal injuries, and wrongful death associated with this mode or form of transportation. Florida law can be a bit confusing when classifying a motor scooter. First, let's distinguish a motor scooter from a motorcycle, motorized scooter, and moped.
Pursuant to Section 316.003 (22), Florida Statutes, a motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle with three wheels or less. The definition excludes a tractor or moped. Pursuant to Section 322.01 (25), Florida Statutes, a motorcycle is further defined by the size of the motor or engine equipped on the vehicle. A motorcycle under Florida law has a motor with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or more. While it may seem odd, a motorcycle is further defined to include a seat or saddle. It should be noted that a motor scooter which has an engine with a displacement under 50 cubic centimeters is not considered a motorcycle for purposes of licensure or insurance. Most motor scooters that are manufactured and sold within the United States have an engine with a displacement under 50 cubic centimeters.
Pursuant to Section 316.003 (82), Florida Statutes, a motorized scooter is interestingly defined as a motor vehicle which does not have a saddle or a seat. As such, a motorized scooter is not a motor scooter. A motorized scooter, again without a saddle or seat, cannot be capable of traveling as a speed of greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground. It should be specifically noted that a motorized scooter is not street legal. Motorized scooters cannot be operated on the roadways in the State of Florida or any sidewalks.
Pursuant to Section 316.003 (77), Florida Statutes, a moped is a vehicle that has pedals with allows for movement by human force or power. A moped, under Florida law, has a saddle or seat and not more than three wheels. A moped, like a motor scooter and motorized scooter, is a lower power type of vehicle which cannot have more than 2 brake horsepower and cannot travel at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on flat ground. The displacement on a moped, if it has an internal combustion engine, cannot be greater than 50 cubic centimeters.
A motor scooter is defined as a motor vehicle in the State of Florida. As such, the operation of a motor scooter requires a Class E Driver's License OR a motorcycle only license. While a person with a Learner's Permit can drive a vehicle under the supervision of a licensed driver 18 years of age or older, a person with a Lerner's Permit cannot operate a motor scooter.
A motor scooter is a motor vehicle with a saddle / seat and an engine with a displacement under 50 cubic centimeters. A motor scooter is designed to travel on not more than three wheels.
A motor scooter, with its smaller engine, power, and speed capacity, typically operates as a speed less than the normal flow of traffic on the streets and roads for which it is legal to operate. If a person operating a motor scooter is traveling at a speed less than normal traffic speed, the operator of the motor scooter should stay as close to the right side of the road as possible unless the operator is making a left hand turn or the roadway or traffic conditions do not allow for such operation. A motor scooter is not considered a bicycle. As such, the operator of a Motor Scooter is prohibited from using bicycle lanes for the operation of the motor scooter.
Operators / riders of motor scooters should follow a "Safety First" approach. While operating / riding a motor scooter can be quite convenient, fund, and inexpensive, it also carries with it risk of personal injury when there is an accident or incident. Like bicycles, pedestrians, mopeds, and motorcycles, drivers of other motorized vehicle should be on the look out for motor scooters. Let's face it - a motor scooter is no match in size, weight, or volume to a normal motor vehicle or even a compact motor vehicle. As such, when there is a crash involving a motor scooter, the operator / rider of the motor scooter is placed at significant risk for personal injuries and even wrongful death.
David Wolf is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney who handles motor scooter and related accidents throughout the State of Florida. He is the author of 4,000 articles and 12 books that focus on personal injury issues. David Wolf provides a Free Consultation for victims of a Motor Scooter accident. David Wolf firmly believes in Giving a Voice to Injury Victims and Their Families. Contact Attorney David Wolf today for a Free Consultation at (904) 500-WOLF / (904) 500-9653 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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